Love this one. I would’ve owned it, for sure. I will certainly be gifting it.
Jabberwocky (Sourcebooks), 2020. Hardcover Picture book, 32 pp.
A Mom, the narrator, coaxes her Sweet Creature to bed. Every page is alive with color, texture and evidence of some creature or another. Bears, Lions, Growling, Hissing, Loping… Grimes and Zunon trace the reluctance of sleep to checking under beds to last glasses of water and another trip to the bathroom until one last request.
“In crawl owl, bear, snake, kitty, fawn, squirrel, koala, tiger, wolf…and one very sleepy child.”
The application of image in both illustration and text is unusual and disarming…Grimes and Zunon have created an utterly charming bedtime story. The child’s sweetness is at times tongue in cheek, but sincere. Like the animals the child mimics or is likened to, there is a precious quality, a delight one savors—a sweetness.
Grimes is smooth, well-versed in the construction of story and the transitions of imagery. She binds it all up in a culminating event (like bedtime) and in the body of a definite force of nature (a child).
Bedtime for Sweet Creatures is sure to be a favorite with its young audiences, charmed by both mother and child, their antics, the bright patterned images of the animals. The noises and actions are sure to inspire playfulness for the reader and listener. And it is sure to take the edge off any reluctance to bedtime—for child and caregiver.
Grimes and Zunon remind us of the beautiful wildness and vulnerability of a child, and we’ll want to hold these moments and this book all the closer because of it. It is a Bedtime book for Sweet Creatures, for both the children and their Moms.*
*And Dads…he’s there too, reading, and later, tucked in like a good creature at bedtime.
Noted: Full color art was created using oil and acrylic paint with cut paper collage, marker, and gel pen.
New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2017 Children’s Literature Legacy Award, the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include the much-honored books Garvey’s Choice, ALA Notable book What is Goodbye?, Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade, and Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jazmin’s Notebook, Talkin’ About Bessie, Dark Sons, Words with Wings, and The Road to Paris. Creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown, Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California.
Elizabeth Zunon was born in Albany, NY and spent her childhood in a hot, sunny, tropical country in West Africa called the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire). After returning to the United States, she attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and graduated in June 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. She’s now back in Albany, where she draws, paints, collages, sews, silkscreens, makes jewelry, purses, and ponders the endless possibilities of chocolate! Her work is largely influenced by the people, places, and things from my childhood in the Ivory Coast as the product of two cultures.